Conversion attempts are an often overlooked part of football games, but the Inman Middle School defense will testify that stopping one in the fourth quarter can really make a difference.
The Bulldogs held on for a 30-28 victory over the Brighton Cardinals Tuesday night largely because Inman stopped the Cardinals on a 2-point conversion halfway through the fourth quarter. Brighton had converted a fourth-down run to score a touchdown on the play before to pull within a 30-20 margin.
Inman’s conversion stop kept it as a two-possession lead and it saved the game.
Brighton played inspired defense and forced Inman to punt the ball away after three offensive plays. The Cardinals tightened the score by driving in to score another touchdown with a minute left to play and scored on the 2-point conversion run to cut Inman’s lead to 30-28.
Inman recovered the onside kick and despite Brighton using two timeouts while giving up only a couple of yards on three plays, the Bulldogs were able to let the clock run out without snapping the ball on fourth down in claiming the two-point victory.
Inman improved to 2-0 on the season with the victory. The Bulldogs will travel to Lexington for a 6:30 p.m. contest Aug. 22.
First-quarter action was tight in the Inman-Brighton contest. Inman’s Caden Marshall broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run with just more than three minutes left in the first quarter to put the Bulldogs on top. Evan Richardson ran for the 2-point conversion to make it an 8-0 lead.
Brighton answered by returning the ensuing kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown but couldn’t convert the 2-point conversion try to leave Inman with an 8-6 lead at the end of the first period.
Brighton took a 14-8 lead by finishing off a solid drive with a one-yard touchdown run and added the 2-point conversion to start the second quarter.
Inman jumped back in front on its next offensive play when Richardson broke a couple of tackles before dashing 50 yards to score a touchdown. Marshall ran for the 2-point conversion and Inman was up 16-14.
Defensive end Landon Wilson recovered a Brighton fumble a few minutes later at the Cardinals’ 44-yard line.
Inman cashed the turnover into points a few plays later when Marshall ran two yards to the end zone. Martez Rack ran for the 2-point conversion to put Inman’s lead at 24-14.
The Bulldogs’ defense made another big play on Brighton’s next offensive series when Camron Phillips intercepted a Cardinals pass and ran 30 yards for a touchdown. Inman’s conversion attempt failed but Inman went into halftime with a 30-14 lead.
Neither team was able to add points in the third quarter but the fourth quarter provided an exciting finish to the game.